Is everything really bigger and better in Texas? You'll have to visit the Lone Star State yourself to find out. But here's a clue - even its State Capitol building in Austin outdoes Washington DC's famous Capitol in height. And the size of some of the barbequed steaks served up here has to be seen to be believed.
Texas has several faces. Traditionally this is cattle territory, and you'll see plenty of cowboy boots and Stetsons around - especially in Houston when the rodeo blows into town, or during Dallas' three-week State Fair. But with Mexico just to the south, this is border country too. Mariachi music and Tex-Mex food are also very much part of the picture with the market in San Antonio guaranteed to have you pining for a poncho.
Back in the 1830s the state fought hard for its independence, and evocative sights such as the Alamo are must-sees. But Texas has come a long way since then, and modern cities like Dallas and Houston are brim-full of 21st century glitz. Skyscrapers soar upwards in their downtown districts and there's first-class shopping and dining on tap. That independent spirit lives on in quirky Austin which has been aptly named the live music capital of the world!
There are lots of warm sunny days to enjoy on holidays to Texas and plenty of glorious places to go. Drive through the rolling countryside and canyons of Hill Country; swim, sail or fish in Lake Country near Austin; take some time to sip a margarita along San Antonio's picturesque River Walk; or hit the beach at Galveston. Or, if you fancy cooling off with some air-conditioning, hit one of the state's many museums and art collections instead.
With so many reasons to come to Texas, y'all are in for a sure-fire good time!
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HISTORY HAPPENED HERE
As well as the Alamo and San Jacinto Battlefield, there's a clutch of other historical sites to explore. One of the best is the spot where President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963. You can even look through the window at the Book Depository from which Lee Harvey Oswald is said to have fired the fateful shots.
There's some great sounds on holidays to Texas. Both Houston and Dallas have their fair share of honky-tonk bars, where you can listen to Country & Western and try your hand (or foot) at two-step. In San Antonio the strains of Mexican mariachi drift along the River Walk. And Austin is the 'Live Music Capital of the World', with around 200 venues and two major annual festivals.
You can give your wallet the ultimate work-out in Dallas, which has more retail space per person than anywhere else in America. Houston and Austin also have top malls, and in San Antonio you can buy everything from a sombrero to cowboy boots.
If you've got the kids with you, there's lots to keep them happy on holidays to Texas. At San Antonio they can meet the animals at SeaWorld or ride the coasters at Six Flags; Dallas has Six Flags too, as well as the even scarier Zero Gravity Thrill Park; and Houston has the jewel of them all - the Space Centre, where you can see Mission Control and discover the wonders of space travel.
You can find a party in Texas any month of the year. Three of the best are San Antonio's 18-day Fiesta in April; the Texas State Fair in Dallas with three weeks of events from September-October; and the Livestock Show and Rodeo, which runs for three weeks in Houston every March.
NASA's Space Center Houston and City Sightseeing Tour, Houston
Uncover the mysteries of outer space on this exhilarating visit to the famous NASA Space Center in Houston. During your self-guided tour you will get the chance to ride a tram on a fantastic orientation tour of the Space Center, see enthralling exhibitions of full-size rockets and rock samples, and marvel at the real Apollo 17 space shuttle, which returned from the moon in 1972! From £45 per person.
Billy Bob's Texas Honky Tonk
Get your cowboy hat and boots on and head down to the largest honky tonk in the world – Billy Bob's Texas. Here you can watch live bull rodeos, eat the best cowboy- sizzling steaks and learn the two step! From £35 per person.
San Antonio Grand Sightseeing Tour
Explore the top attractions of San Antonio on this full-day tour that includes the Alamo, one of Texas' most legendary historic sites. Admire the architecture of the Spanish Governor's Palace, enjoy the lively Market Square, see the Mission San Jose, Mission Concepcion, Japanese Sunken Gardens and cruise down the Paseo Del Rio on a riverboat. From £51 per person.
Houston Sightseeing Tour and Galveston Day Trip
See the key sights of central Houston and historic Galveston on this comprehensive 6-hour coach tour. Begin your day of sightseeing with a 90-minute overview tour of Houston by double-decker bus. In Galveston, you'll have some free time to explore this scenic Gulf of Mexico town at your own pace. Admire the historic Victorian mansions, the Galveston Seawall and the Strand historic district. From £85 per person.
Hill Country Magic Tour
Explore the highlights of Texas Hill Country on this full-day tour from San Antonio. Visit the Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park, learn about the 36th President of the United States, and see a working 19th-century cattle ranch. Then you are off to explore the quaint main street of Fredericksburg with its authentic German fare, part of the town's immigrant heritage. From £63 per person.
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